A Question-Focused Multi-Factor Attention Network for Question Answering

25 Jan 2018  ·  Souvik Kundu, Hwee Tou Ng ·

Neural network models recently proposed for question answering (QA) primarily focus on capturing the passage-question relation. However, they have minimal capability to link relevant facts distributed across multiple sentences which is crucial in achieving deeper understanding, such as performing multi-sentence reasoning, co-reference resolution, etc. They also do not explicitly focus on the question and answer type which often plays a critical role in QA. In this paper, we propose a novel end-to-end question-focused multi-factor attention network for answer extraction. Multi-factor attentive encoding using tensor-based transformation aggregates meaningful facts even when they are located in multiple sentences. To implicitly infer the answer type, we also propose a max-attentional question aggregation mechanism to encode a question vector based on the important words in a question. During prediction, we incorporate sequence-level encoding of the first wh-word and its immediately following word as an additional source of question type information. Our proposed model achieves significant improvements over the best prior state-of-the-art results on three large-scale challenging QA datasets, namely NewsQA, TriviaQA, and SearchQA.

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Results from the Paper

Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Result Benchmark
Question Answering NewsQA AMANDA F1 63.7 # 6
EM 48.4 # 4
Open-Domain Question Answering SearchQA AMANDA Unigram Acc 46.8 # 3
N-gram F1 56.6 # 3
EM - # 10
F1 - # 5


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